How Many Moons does Uranus Have

 In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," William Shakespeare wrote, "Sweet Moon," "I thank thee for thy sunny beams;" Moon, thank you for shining so brightly right now." Centuries later, the famous playwright is honored by the moons of Uranus.

While the names of most satellites orbiting other planets come from ancient mythologies, the moons of Uranus are unique in that they are named after characters from Shakespeare and Alexander Pope's works.

The largest moons of Uranus, Oberon and Titania were first discovered by William Herschel in 1787. William Lassell, who had been quick to see a moon circling Neptune, found the following two, Ariel and Umbriel. Before Gerard Kuiper found Miranda in 1948, nearly a century had passed.

In 1986, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made a trip to the Uranian system and discovered three new moons. Another ten, measuring just 16-96 miles (26-154 kilometers), were discovered by Voyager 2: Puck, Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Desdemona, Portia, Rosalind, Cressida, and Belinda are among the characters.

The number of known moons has increased to 27 since then thanks to improved ground-based telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. It is an impressive feat to spot the moons after Voyager. They are blacker than asphalt and tiny, measuring anywhere from 8 to 10 miles (12 to 16 kilometers). They are also, of course, about 2.8 billion kilometers (1.8 billion miles) away from the Sun.

Voyager 2's observations of all of Uranus's inner moons suggest that they are primarily composed of rock and water ice. It is unknown what the moons outside Oberon's orbit are made of, but they are probably captured asteroids.

Unique Features A few of the unique features of the moons are as follows:

The surface of Miranda, the smallest and innermost of the five major satellites, is unlike any other surface that has been observed. It has terraced layers and surfaces that appear to be very old and others that appear to be much younger, as well as massive fault canyons that can be up to 12 times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Among Uranus's moons, Ariel has the brightest and possibly youngest surface. It has few large and many small craters, indicating that relatively recent low-impact collisions eliminated the larger craters that would have been left behind by much earlier, larger impacts. Its surface is cratered by intersecting valleys.

The oldest and darkest of the five large moons, Umbriel is It has numerous large, ancient craters and a dark, enigmatic ring on one side.

Oberon, the outermost of the five major moons, is old, has a lot of craters, and doesn't seem to be doing anything inside. On the floors of many of its craters, a mysterious dark substance can be seen.

Shepherd moons Ophelia and Cordelia keep Uranus' thin "epsilon" outer ring well-defined.

A swarm of eight tiny satellites unlike any other system of planet moons lies between them and Miranda. Astronomers are still trying to figure out how the small moons haven't collided in this densely packed region. Scientists believe that in addition to the 10 narrow rings on the planet, there must be additional interior moons to enclose the inner rings' edges.

Shakespeare wrote, "Well shone, Moon," meaning "truly, the Moon shines with a good grace." "​

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